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With subdued gaiety, Tamil Nadu ushers in New Year

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Chennai, Apr 14: The Tamil New Year, Pilava, was on Wednesday ushered in with subdued gaiety across Tamil Nadu with a slew of Covid-19 protocols in place for devotees, who usually throng temples in large numbers to celebrate the day.

The coronavirus restrictions, however, did not dampen the spirit of the temple administration as the shrines were decorated and the idols of gods and goddesses decked with robes, jewels and flower garlands to receive the devotees.

With subdued gaiety, Tamil Nadu ushers in New Year

Major temples such as Sri Kamakshi Amman temple in Kancheepuram, Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple in Madurai, Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, Srirangam, Sri Nellaiappar Ganthimathi Amman temple, Tirunelveli and the Bhagavathy Amman temple in Kanyakumari made elaborate arrangements for the new year.

Several shrines in the city including the ancient Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple, and the Andavar temple, Vadapalani, received a steady trickle of devotees since morning.

"Devotees who wore face masks alone were allowed entry for darshan and all those who stepped in were thermally scanned and given disinfectant before proceeding for darshan," a senior official with the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department said.

The shrine for Lord Ayappa at Mahalingapuram in Kodambakkam and other temples dedicated to the deity arranged the customary "Kani Kanuthal" event as part of the Vishu celebrations for the Malayalam speaking people.

Barricades were put up in some of the temples to avert overcrowding and to allow the devotees to line up strictly adhering to social distancing norms for darshan.

Many held prayers at home to welcome the Tamil new year.

State Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam and Tamil Nadu BJP chief L Murugan among others greeted the people on the occasion.

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